Astrology by Paul Saunders : Rihanna – Standing strong in the face of a family tragedy

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Rihanna – Standing strong in the face of a family tragedy


Can you believe that Rihanna is just having her first Saturn return. It feels like she's been around forever and yet she's only 29 years of age. Actually I’ve met Rihanna. It was a long time ago now at London Heathrow airport, and she was seeing off her mum who was travelling back to Barbados, before flying herself to New York with her “crew” of musicians and tour manager. This was just before her worldwide smash “Umbrella” and I remember asking her tour manager if her new album was any good. He was very confident at the time that there were a “few” hit songs on it. My word he was right!! That meeting stuck in my mind for quite a while, and now of course Robyn Rihanna Fenty is one of the most recognisable pop stars on the planet. I am pleased I met her, before fame came knocking on her door. Now tragedy has hit the Caribbean Queen of pop, as her cousin was gunned down in Barbados. She was pictured with her cousin Tavon Kaiseen Alleyne on Christmas Day. One day later he was tragically killed, and this must have been devastating for her and her family.


Rihanna was born on 20th February 1988 in Saint Michael, Barbados. Now nobody knows a birth time for sure, although a report on IMDB mentioned 08.50 as a potential time. It’s a shame I didn’t ask her directly back in 2006, but then again I wasn’t blogging about astrology at the time. If you are reading this article and you do know the official time of her birth, please get in touch. The above chart is based on what was written on IMDB, and I also base my article in relation to what I know about her officially as well as my own personal experience in meeting her, and in speaking with people who know her.

Putting everything together, I always thought that she had Aries rising on her chart, bringing a straight and direct nature to her personality which is very much softened by the Moon being conjunct to her Ascendant. Rihanna as I met her was very gently spoken, quiet and rather shy, an indication I believe of the hidden 12th house Moon. Despite this, the Moon linked to the Ascendant does very much does it’s own thing, and Rihanna has always been a trend setter, reflecting the nature of Aries. Venus linked into the Ascendant brings a keen attention to her appearance, more of which a bit later. With a time of 08.50 hrs Neptune the ruler of music and performance is in the international 9th house conjunct to her Midheaven on the cusp of her 10th house of career, thus she is attracted to music, films and cultivating an international  career in the performing arts. Saturn, Uranus and Mars also sit in the 9th showing someone who breaks down barriers and is known through her work internationally, and Pluto is in the 7th in Scorpio ruling her 8th house showing a need for relationships that are transformational and life changing, sometimes connected to brutality and intense experiences. This Pluto also emphasises her risqué side, an embracing of her sexuality which she seems totally unafraid to express.

Rihanna is a Sun sign Pisces with an Aries Moon. We have a mix of fire and water, the enthusiasm of the Aries Moon to be number one in everything that one does underpinned by the sensitive, imaginative energy of the Pisces Sun. It is like underneath the bravado, there is a really gentle soul, exactly as I realised when I met Rihanna. Everything here is for show, and some sacrifices to her normal personality have to be made to fulfil the overriding need of the Aries Moon. This is a complex girl we are dealing with, the archetypal enigmatic pop star whose public face is nothing like her private one.

The Pisces Sun sits at the point of a mini grand trine sextile to Jupiter in Aries and sextile to a heavyweight Saturn, Uranus and Mars conjunction, with Saturn and Uranus very closely conjunct in Capricorn and Mars in Sagittarius. Jupiter sextile to the Sun shows lovely optimism and faith in one’s own ability, as well as a wide international outlook. The same goes for Mars in Sagittarius, which is wonderfully positive, outgoing and philosophical in it’s nature. The trine between the two planets brings good timing, luck in business and a need to keep going and pushing yourself to see how far you can go. I would imagine that Rihanna will set her sights on being in the entertainments business for the long haul, and seeing as she sees Madonna as an idol, someone who has been performing for 30 years, the astrology tells me that there are many albums and films yet to come from her.

The Sun sextile to Uranus and Saturn in Capricorn shows someone who is intensely individualistic and ambitious, yet has a really solid attitude to work and devotion to her cause. This attitude is backed up by the trines from Jupiter to Saturn and Uranus, allowing her to see the big picture & giving her common sense as well as a rather lucky and opportunistic attitude. These three planets are widely conjunct to Neptune also in Capricorn which rules music and creation. This is a girl who will break new ground in her work, and her fusion of Caribbean rhythms to rap, urban rhythms, r&b as well as pop has won over a plethora of young fans. My nieces love her music and style!!

In astrology you can often see two maybe even three life themes over one set of aspecting planets, because the planets rule several qualities at the same time. With Neptune conjunct to Saturn/Uranus and Mars sextile to the Sun not only do we see a connection to her personality (Sun) through her musical talent (Neptune) and her ability to fuse old styles (Saturn) with the new (Uranus) but also this connection describes her father represented by the sextile to the Sun. He (Sun) part Barbadian and Irish, had a violent side to him (Uranus/Mars) as well as suffering from drug problems (Neptune) and his harsh nature (Saturn) ended up in the breakup of Rihanna’s parents when she was 14 years old. At that time, transiting Saturn was directly opposing the triple conjunction of Saturn Uranus and Mars showing a very traumatic time in her life.

In contrast, Rihanna seems to have a lovely relationship with her mother (who hails from Guyana) shown by the Moon conjunct to Venus; something I saw first hand many years ago. Both mum and daughter seem very close to each other. Venus and Moon in Aries is very straight forward in love, but this conjunction is squared by Neptune and receives an inconjunct aspect to Pluto. On the chart you can see the link from Venus Moon to gullible Neptune and to intense Pluto in a sort of unusual wedge formation. The square (in blue) shows that she does get a bit blinded in love, and deceived in the guys that she dates. The inconjunct (in grey) to Pluto I do not think helps one bit. If anything, she will be drawn to dark intense individuals, in short to troublemakers. These relationships will transform her, but in a rather nasty manner. I have found inconjunct aspects to cause real problems, especially in regard to relationships. They tend to lead to all amounts of irritation and stress, and Pluto in Scorpio is so intense and dark in nature that when things do go off the rails, the hurt of any breakdown can be superseded by violence and emotional turmoil that touches the soul. Her relationship with Chris Brown was one example of this and rather mirrors her mother’s relationship with her father. Children often take their cue in their lives from their parent’s experiences.

This same wedge brings out the style that Rihanna is known for. Venus and the Moon together sextiles to Neptune as well as to Mercury in glamorous Aquarius, so there is a love of beauty of fashion and design here. If Venus is in the first house as I suspect, then her appearance from make-up she uses, to the hair styles and the clothes that she wears will be very carefully chosen, depending on her state of mind (Mercury) and mood (Moon). For sure, she will go all out to surprise and to shock (Mercury in Aquarius). As she has matured, a sexual element has appeared in her fashion sense and in her videos, and this shows the links from these planets to deep underground Pluto. Mercury in Aquarius is very cute and clever as well as being socially aware. She will know exactly what image she wishes to portray & she will be the driver of her social media outreach to her legion of fans. Mercury in the 11th house brings a humanitarian train of thought, and in combination with the Sun in sacrificial caring Pisces, this explains her deep interest in helping suffering kids, especially on her home island of Barbados.

Finally there is a quindecile between Jupiter and Pluto on this chart, which bring huge money making and big business potential to her. In the clever way that she has crossed over so many popular music boundaries attracting fans from many genres & in her use of shock tactics and change of styles, she is forever always evolving which in today’s music industry is the only way to stay at the top. The key to her chart, the Neptune Uranus, Saturn and Mars conjunction shows all the drive and commitment to keep on moving ahead.

Rihanna transits

As I mentioned Rihanna is now experiencing her Saturn return, it’s almost exact as I write. Saturn the planet of loss not only is conjunct to it’s natal position but also to Mars and Uranus, the planets of guns, violence (Mars) and shocking events (Uranus). As Saturn rules her 10th house it‘s likely that the cousin was from her father’s side of the family, and this ties in to the public nature that the crime has been reported. As a typical Aries Ascendant, Rihanna has come out positively to the event, with her openly calling for gun crime to stop on her home island. Fair play to her for leading a campaign against this.

Those three planets (Saturn/Mars and Uranus) all oppose Chiron, and this is a wound that will stay with her for a long time. I’ve mentioned before that Saturn in a difficult connection to Chiron (this is an opposition is known as the “heartbreak connection”, and yet again it has hit home to be true on her chart. In relation to this, I think this awful event will spur her on rather than defeat her, and I suspect it is a cause that she will be fighting for in the next few years of her life. Just to back up the Saturn return and the opposition to Chiron, transiting Pluto is now making a square to her Ascendant (if 08.50am is correct) binging a public brutal event to her doorstep and affecting her personally.

The coming year is one of learning for Rihanna with Saturn in her 9th house approaching her Midheaven, and I would expect to see her really busy at the end of 2018, when Saturn gets to the top of her chart. Professionally she may have a huge workload coming up, but at the same time if she works hard between now and then, she will reap the rewards, and potentially gain much recognition of all that she has done so far.

My condolences to Rihanna, her family and friends. God bless…